In October of 2004, substitute teacher Julie Amero was assigned to a class of seventh-graders at Kelly Middle School in Norwich, Connecticut. Last month, she was convicted of exposing those students to pornography on her classroom computer, and today she is facing a possible 40-year prison sentence. (Tell that to someone who thinks that a career in education doesn't lead anywhere.)
Amero's excuse? She's practically a Luddite. The 40-year-old Windham resident with no prior criminal record is maintaining her contention from the trial that pornographic images kept popping up on the computer throughout the day in question, and--despite her most valiant efforts--her lack of technological savvy rendered her incapable of quelling the barrage of hardcore sex before it could befoul the once-pure souls of the children in her keep.
I have little trouble believing that an inexperienced computer user could fall victim to a pop-up storm, particularly if the machine in question was lacking in a firewall or any kind of spyware protection (as a computer consultant who testified in the trial confirmed that it was)...but I'm compelled to side with the jury on the fact that one very suspicious question remains:
Why didn't Amero throw a blanket over the computer or just unplug the damn thing?
A possible answer to that question? The woman is way into porn and likes sharing it with 12-year-olds.
Of course, I'm no lawyer.
UPDATE: Perhaps Amero could count on a Christmas miracle to get her out of trouble, seeing as she's married to Santa Claus.